The Museum’s Law, Justice, and the Holocaust program challenges legal professionals to critically examine the decisions German jurists made and the pressures they faced under the Nazi regime. In understanding this history, participants gain new insight into their responsibilities as professionals and as individuals in a democracy today.
About the Program
The Museum provides this one-day program for judges, prosecutors, and court administrators both on-site in Washington, DC, and at state bar and judicial conferences around the country. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit is available.
Guided by Museum historians and educators, participants analyze legal documents and case studies from the Nazi era and grapple with the ethical questions they raise, including:
- What is the responsibility of judges to the legal system as a whole?
- What have been the challenges to a fair and impartial administration of justice in the United States?
- What can judges do to ensure that the kinds of failures that led to the Holocaust do not happen in this country?
The Museum has presented Law, Justice, and the Holocaust to 46 state chief justices, the American Judges Association, the National Association of Women Judges, and the Federal Judicial Center. Our goal is to train all 13,000 general jurisdiction judges within the next five years. Meet the staff.
Judges were among those inside Germany who might have changed the course of history by challenging the legitimacy of the Nazi regime and the hundreds of laws that restricted political freedoms and civil rights.
And yet the overwhelming majority did not. Most not only upheld the law but interpreted it in far-reaching ways that helped the Nazis carry out their political agenda, ultimately resulting in the deaths of millions. Explore this history through the articles and case studies listed below.